16 June 2009

Mt Hotham, im now here.

Well, its been ages since my last report, but that’s just a sign of how full on it has been for me. These last few weeks have been a bloody ripper I can tell you. I have spent some great time with my family. Have been up to Brisbane and spent time with my great friends Tim and Charlie. Performed as Freddy Fargon for Victor Brays team at the Winter National Drags at Willowbank Raceway. I spent a couple of days at Wintersun Nostalgia Festival in Coolangatta. And then flew back to Melbourne and spent a couple more days with my brother John working on his 32 Ford Roadtser.

John dropped me off to Maffra (my hometown) on Sunday 14-6-09, and then the following Monday I was off to Post Office to sort out my ‘working with children’ card, which is a legal requirement here in Australia when working in jobs that entail being around kids. A bloody good idea I reckon.

Sue (my sister) and I did some running around getting last minute things sorted, as it was to be the day that I head for Mt Hotham. We arrived into Hotham around 6pm, and as we drove up the mountain it started snowing. Luckily the snow wasn’t thick enough that we had to fit the tyre chains. Now, I’ve never really been in snow like this, so it was a real trip for me to see what it looks like to drive into falling snow in the dark. Only way I can describe it, is that it looks like sci-fi movies when they hit a button that sends them into hyper speed and the universe goes rushing by at a ridiculous speed. It was awesome.

We parked our car down the hill (as you cant leave cars up in the township at night unless you pay stupid amounts of money to do so) and we caught the bus up the remainder of the way, which wasn’t that far up really. Naturally being nighttime means that I actually haven’t really seen that much yet. But the inside of the lodge is freakin amazing. There are 3 levels. Top floor is the sleeping quarters, which contains nine bedrooms that mostly have a double bed and two bunks. I currently have a nice single room with a double bed in it, but that will change when it’s booked out, and I will then jump into the mangers room with my sister, which has four bunk beds.

The middle floor is the kitchen and lounge room. These are both massive areas, and one side of the rooms is completely roof to wall glass that spans the width of the lodge. There is a direct drop outside that then overlooks the hills that are in the west, and the sun sets behind them (which I’ve been told, is a sight to behold. I will get pics asap and show you all). The bottom floor has a TV room incase anyone wants to just chill out and get all square eyed.

Once I had the lodge tour, it was off up the hill (walking through the snow) to the local pub known as ‘the General’. Here I met Amanda, who will be my boss whilst I work for the ski school as what they call a Day Attendant. Basically from what I know, I will be making sure kids enrolled in the ski school get fed and looked after and that staff are looking after the place and cleaning up etc. im yet to be given the official rundown, but for now that’s pretty cool and will be a very different pace for me.

We ordered pizza to go, as we needed to be at a one-hour course that taught us how to inject adrenalin needles into kids that may suffer from allergies and asthma etc. So if they have an attack, we all need to know how to administer the adrenalin and getting the ambulance on the way and so forth. It wasn’t intense, but the guy who presented it opened the night in a weird way. He explained a bit of his life story and told how he was a ambulance officer for 26 years, and that he then had a major bike accident that left his back stuffed and as a result became addicted to his medicine etc. At which point, I humbly asked him if I had mistakenly come to an AA meeting. The guy took it well, and now I understand that all those years ago when I was a kid in school, why my reports always said ‘Ricki insists on being the clown of the class’. Old habits die hard.

Once the course was complete, it was back to the General for a meet and greet with staff, and then home to the lodge. It’s cold outside, but not freezing like I thought it would be. I could still walk around in jeans, tshirt and a couple of polar fleece jumpers without feeling it. And once inside the lodge, it’s constantly warm anyways, so it’s great. I reckon these next eight weeks are going to be a pretty awesome experience. I’ve basically got the next week off, although for the next 3 nights at the lodge, we have 29 people staying as part of a training session for ski instructors. So the lodge will be busy, but im not in full on work mode just yet. So hopefully I will get time to have a good look around over the next few days and get some great pictures of the area for you all to see.